Gina, honey. How are you? Is there anything I can do to help? We just loved Todd around here; he was such an amazing man. Listen, I know how much you must hurting right now, but I have to ask: do you happen to know if there’s any more pie?
It’s just that we got stuck in all that traffic coming back from the cemetery. First we got crushed in the stampede leaving the gravesite. Then we couldn’t get out of the parking lot because we had to wait for Todd’s mother to walk the fifty feet in front of our car. She’s a very sweet old lady and I know she must be in pain, but would it kill her to pick up the pace? By the time we made it to your house, all the street parking was taken and all the pie was gone. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to us.
I told Steve we should just skip the gravesite all together. I always feel like burials are intended more for friends and family, and I guess I considered Todd more of an acquaintance. A beloved acquaintance, to be sure, but still, just an acquaintance. I mean, how close are you really supposed to be with your child’s Little League coach? But I digress. The point is, if we had just come straight here like I suggested, there would still be more than enough pie. And cake. And bagels. But as it stands, we got here late and missed everything and now we have to make forced conversation with people we only marginally like without the comfort of sweet, delicious, food.
It wouldn’t be so bad if your guests would just stop raving about that pie. I mean, you’d think these people had never tasted stewed fruit before! But, no. You try to engage them in conversation about the weather and they start talking about how buttery and flaky the crust was. You ask them about their favorite sports team and they change the subject back to how rich the blueberries were. You inquire after their family and they go into a five minute long revelry, complete with gesticulations, about how the filling melted in their mouths and changed their entire outlook on life.
I don’t want to be forward, Gina, but here’s some constructive criticism for your next funeral. In the future, you might want to consider ordering more food. Specifically, more pie. And maybe invite fewer guests. Or, heck, you could even put a passive aggressive sign next to the pie saying something like, “One piece per person, please” or “Keep the peace, take one piece” or “Watch it! One per guest, home slice”. I’ll leave the exact verbiage to you. The point is, I think people would be having a better time if there was more food available. Because, let’s face it, the vibe in here right now is pretty grim.
Well, I can see that I’m holding up the receiving line. And I don’t want to keep you, but one more thing before I go. Would you happen to have anything in your kitchen that I could nosh on? Maybe some cheese and crackers or an apple or something? Because in the brief time that I’ve stood here, talking with you, some schmuck has finished off whatever was left of the food, and now I’m really starving.
Ilana Gordon is an actress/improviser/procrastinator living and playing in Chicago. Her work has been featured on McSweeney’s and Thought Catalog. If you like long periods of silence, followed by short bursts of white noise, follow her on twitter.